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A Soldier's Book

Higgins, Joanna

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ISBN 10: 1579620094 / ISBN 13: 9781579620097
Edité par The Permanent Press, 1998
Etat : Fine Couverture rigide
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A propos de cet article

First Edition (first printing). The first novel by this Pennsylvania author, the story of a Union prisoner captured by Confederate forces during the Civil War. The biggest selling book in the history of Permanent Press. Fine/Fine. N° de réf. du libraire 3868

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : A Soldier's Book

Éditeur : The Permanent Press

Date d'édition : 1998

Reliure : Hardcover

Etat du livre :Fine

Etat de la jaquette : Fine

Edition : 1st Edition.

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

In the spring of 1864 all prisoner-of-war exchanges between the North and the South had been halted. For captured soldiers, being condemned to the increasingly overcrowded prison camps was tantamount to a death sentence. A Soldier's Book opens as Ira Cahill Stevens, a young Union soldier, is on his way to the notorious Andersonville prison camp. Day by day, Ira shares the horrific details of a world that is growing ever more barbaric and absurd, with its "dead lines," starvation, cruelty, filth, and false rumors of exchange. Yet even in the face of terror and despair, Ira retains hope, and with the help of an impromptu family of fellow soldiers, he struggles to survive, only to witness each friend picked off by death or insanity. A powerful and historically accurate novel, A Soldier's Book leaves the reader not only with a richer sense of the Civil War but of the resiliency of the human spirit.


Ira Cahill Stevens, a Union soldier captured in battle, takes you on a shocking, unnerving tour of life in Andersonville, the infamous Confederate prison. We follow Ira and his comrades from their ride in a packed train car to the hopes, dreams, delirium, and degradation of life in a stinking, disease-ridden enclosure where hundreds of men die daily and are stacked by the gate. The greatest possible hope is to be traded back to the Union in exchange for Confederate prisoners, but the likelihood is slim. A more probable fate for the men is death from starvation, disease, or even from their own countrymen: raiders who sweep through the camps at night stealing what little the others still own. In a place like Andersonville, even acts of mercy are nightmarish:

One surgeon tells the prisoner to lie on the floor. Another puts chloroform against his nose. The third surgeon, an old fellow, kneels alongside the man and in one quick move, severs flesh and arteries, then commences sawing the bone above the elbow.... They pour whiskey into him and then it's my turn.
Throughout the terror, Ira and his comrades try to maintain a sense of family, sharing their limited provisions, reading to one another from two now-priceless books that they managed to retain, and nursing one another through compounded illnesses for which the only medicine is persimmons-berry tea or bartered quinine. Joanna Higgins's excellent research makes this tale both a stunning fiction and a realistic historical account of the country's darkest war and the hell that was Andersonville.

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